Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

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williamjpellas
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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by williamjpellas » 02 Oct 2018 15:47

Sid Guttridge wrote:
01 Oct 2018 21:26
OK,

Is your reference to the Robert Wilcox, the journalist who also wrote on the Turin Shroud?

Not a crime if either is the case, but journalists, by the nature of their job, tend to accept lower evidential standards than historians, while the Turin Shroud is up there with UFOs, crop circles, etc., for conspiracy theorists.

Cheers,

Sid.
SId, you're entirely correct to note that "journalists, by the nature of their job, tend to accept lower evidential standards than historians". However, quite a lot of serious historical research has been done into the specifics of what Japan was doing in WWII with its nuclear weapons R&D, and as one post in the AHF thread on the subject noted, subsequent findings "...have tended strongly to confirm Wilcox".

As for de Velasco, I first encountered him when I read Wilcox's book, Japan's Secret War. I subsequently found him as a prominent figure in Farago's book and elsewhere. There are some declassified NARA documents that seem to point in de Velasco's direction, most notably a very detailed FBI report about a joint US-Canadian counterintelligence sting that smashed a sizable Spanish-Japanese spy ring in North America. I haven't been able to view that document yet. I have only seen excerpts cited by Wilcox. It is one of my targets if and when I ever get back to Suitland, MD (NARA headquarters).

De Velasco claimed to have made a report about the Manhattan Project, in person, to Hitler himself. What I hope to determine from the FBI report---and, perhaps, from documentation that others might provide here---is whether what they called the "Span-Nap Spy Ring" was in fact controlled by de Velasco, and therefore if that ring is what penetrated the Manhattan Project. The possible, if at this point largely speculative, connection between de Velasco's alleged North American espionage and "secret U-boat (and/or I-boat) bases in Mexico" is thus what I am really most interested in researching in this thread. If said bases or rendezvous points existed, they might be part of the "infrastructure" utilized by the Axis to facilitate their espionage.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 02 Oct 2018 18:42

Hi Williamjpellas,

If Farago (another described as a journalist) could be considered an entirely reliable writer, then his use of Velasco might improve the latter's credibility. However, Farago is not, having once been described as a "successful disinformer or dupe".

Valasco's claim "that he made a report about the Manhattan Project, in person, to Hitler himself" should set any half-way rational observer's BS alarm off immediately.

Velasco was yet another journalist, there is no certainty that his supposed spy ring in the USA existed and apparently by the end the Japanese regarded him as "little more than a liar"! Why should we place any reliance on him at all?

Farago and Velasco simply drag each other's credibility down by virtue of their association with each other.

I am sorry, but you are clearly chasing a fantasy for which there is no substantive evidence.

Cheers,

Sid.

P.S. The lead author of the dishonestly compiled "Grey Wolf" was another journalist. There seems to be a pattern. See: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=223938&p=2067792&h ... f#p2067792

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by williamjpellas » 02 Oct 2018 22:17

Farago might have been "a journalist", quote-unquote, after the war. But during the war he worked for US Naval Intelligence. He was there. How Farago drags de Velasco's credibility down in any way is not apparent to me.

Someone has said that "journalism is the first draft of history". I have already said that I agree with your statement that journalists are not held to as high a standard as professional historians. But that is not to say there are no standards in that profession. In any case, more thorough historical research can be done to confirm, deny, or add to the journalist's account.

As for a "BS alarm", I'm getting very tired of people in this thread casting aspersions without offering any documentation to support their thesis. You say de Velasco is unreliable. WHY? Can you provide examples, along with supporting documentation, that illustrate why he ought not to be taken seriously or at least given a fair hearing even if he did exaggerate about some of his exploits? Ironmachine at least offered the opinion of one of de Velasco's contemporaries, Thomas (Tomas) Harris. Although I think there is good reason to reject Harris' characterization, nevertheless that was an effort to provide real world, contemporaneous illustrations as to why de Velasco should be dismissed. Alright, there's one guy who says the Spanish adventurer was a fraud. Who else? What are their credentials? Why should I believe them?

On the other hand, I have given you testimony from de Velasco himself, from Farago (like Harris a contemporary, but one who had an altogether different opinion), Wilcox's interview, the Wanderling's probably-anecdotal-but-ya-never-know stories, the presence of a Japanese SIGINT unit in Mexico during the war, and a previously top secret FBI report detailing the operations of a far-flung WWII spy network that operated all over North America on behalf of Japan, and which was run by the Spanish. In light of this information,I am asking what to my mind are the logical questions.

1) Was Span-Nap de Velasco's organization? Yes or no?

2) Did it really penetrate the Manhattan Project? If so, did de Velasco actually report to Hitler with the information gleaned from that espionage? And did this information affect Japanese decision making during the war, especially the later years? I think there is some reason to believe that it did:

http://qr.ae/TUGCUN

3) Are the Wanderling's stories about alleged-to-exist submarine bases / supply dumps / rendezvous points / dead drops or whatever, Are these connected in any way with either Span-Nap, or de Velasco, or both?

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 03 Oct 2018 12:54

Hi RdP,

It is up to those proposing a theory to provide substantive evidence in favour of it. It is not up to others to provide contradictory evidence until this has been done.

There is absolutely no substantive evidence of U-boat bases in Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America, either from German documentation, or physically on the ground.

There is evidence that a few U-boats refuelled in several Spanish ports and they were certainly based "elsewhere" if one includes Japan and its occupied ports, like Penang.

A "BS Alarm" should go off in a rational person when something extremely unlikely is proposed, especially by someone trying to sell an esoteric book.

If you Google "successful disinformer or dupe" and "little more than a liar", you will come up with the original sources for these descriptions of Farago and Velasco. They are not my descriptions.

On what grounds would anyone give credence to a claim by an obscure Spanish occasional diplomat that in the midst of the war he got a personal interview with Hitler to discuss the Manhattan Project? It is an exceptional claim and so requires exceptional evidence. Where is it?

You end by asking six or more questions. Questions tell us nothing about the plausibility of the presumptions.

In haste,

Sid.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by williamjpellas » 03 Oct 2018 16:20

De Velasco was not "an obscure Spanish occasional diplomat". He made a number of claims, some of them extraordinary, which have some documentation supporting them. Not a lot. But some. This is to be expected given the nature of what he was (allegedly) involved in. Espionage. What caught my attention regarding the Wanderling's stories was that they dovetail with de Velasco's claims of facilitating a Japanese spy mission looking for Los Alamos (though they apparently didn't know what it was called or exactly where it was located) in the Desert Southwest. By extension this might support other aspects of de Velasco's interview with Wilcox and so on. In other words, the Wanderling might have stumbled across some corroboration for de Velasco's claims. I am attempting to do further research on what is admittedly a dim and overgrown trail through the wilderness. I would appreciate it if you would accept that this is my choice and that I believe it worth pursuing, and leave me to it. You have expressed your opinion and that's all fair enough. I will concede that it is unlikely---not impossible, but yes, unlikely---that anyone reading this forum will come forward with any documentation or corroborating evidence. But there are aspects of the history of nuclear weapons that are still held in strictest secrecy. I am interested in discovering, if possible, if de Velasco's tale of Spanish spying on the Manhattan Project is true.

Stranger things have turned out to be true. And the complete story of what was really going on in the shadows in WWII will never be known. Thanks, and have a nice day.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Oct 2018 10:58

Hi williamjpellas,

I would not and could not do anything but leave you to it.

I am relieved that your last post displays a degree of scepticism in its construction.

I fear, as you know, that your "dim and overgrown trail through wilderness" isn't a trail at all, but an illusion.

The Spanish Nationalists were certainly intent on trying to re-establish a sense of Hispanic community and solidarity between Spain itself and its former colonies until 1943, and used their diplomatic network to both distribute Axis press releases and propaganda films across South America and to channel back intelligence. Serrano Suner was central to much of this. Their shipping also helped smuggle a few Germans (mostly from the Graf Spee), unofficial Argentine diplomatic contacts and high value/low bulk strategic materials to Germany. The Germans also tried to get them to set up an alternative airline to the Italian company LATI, that flew regular commercial flights to Latin America until the end of 1941, but this fell through.

Falangists also attempted to be active politically in Latin America and produced quite a lot of unjustified panic in the USA, whose dependency Puerto Rico had received a lot of Spanish immigrants in the late 19th Century. These efforts were actually counter-productive because most of the large number of Spanish citizens in Cuba, which had received a lot of Spanish immigration at the same time as Puerto Rico, took out Cuban citizenship during the war.

I also seem to recall that Spain was involved in aborted proposals to land arms in Mexico, (which were to come via Japan) to disrupt its 1940 elections and that its Chilean embassy sent shipping reports to Japan during the war.

So the Nationalist Spanish were certainly semi-active collaborators with the Axis in the Americas in the first half of the war.

However, their activities were much reduced once the war had turned decisively against the Axis in the winter of 1942/43 and I am very sceptical that they had any role in spying on the Manhattan Project, about which the Axis seems to have known virtually nothing of substance.

Happy hunting, but don't fall for the "positive reinforcement" fallacy en route.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by williamjpellas » 06 Oct 2018 20:38

So the Nationalist Spanish were certainly semi-active collaborators with the Axis in the Americas in the first half of the war.

However, their activities were much reduced once the war had turned decisively against the Axis in the winter of 1942/43 and I am very sceptical that they had any role in spying on the Manhattan Project, about which the Axis seems to have known virtually nothing of substance.

Happy hunting, but don't fall for the "positive reinforcement" fallacy en route.


Fair enough. The fact that at least some Spanish were "semi-active collaborators with the Axis in the Americas in the first half of the war" is one reason why I am willing to see if there is anything to The Wanderling's and de Velasco's stories, and to attempt to determine if they overlap or dovetail in any way. It was during the first half of the war that most if not all of the most intensive and determined Spanish spying is alleged to have occurred, including the 1943 mission to the American Desert Southwest.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 08 Oct 2018 11:10

Hi williamjpellas.

Happy hunting.

And remember, a negative outcome to research is just as valuable as a positive one, because, either way, the facts are established. You just won't get a publishing deal with a negative result!

It's drugs companies, not historians, who don't welcome and are reluctant to publicize a nul result!

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by MarkN » 08 Oct 2018 20:07

williamjpellas wrote:
02 Jun 2016 06:31
Any reliable information is much appreciated. Thank you.
Over 2 years since you posted this. Are you any closer to locating a single "Secret U-Boat Base"? If not, then perhaps that, in itself, is an indication of either how important it is to maintain the secret or that there aren't any to be found.

In fact, you could have walked the coast of Spain during this time and been able to prove it all conclusively one way or the other. Perhaps that's your way forward.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by williamjpellas » 29 Oct 2018 01:32

Roger Day wrote:
28 Sep 2018 08:57
A secret U-Boat base in Panama? I have heard of a secret U-Boat base at an inlet on the Cusapin Peninsula on the Atlantic side of Panama. This is from John Blashford-Snell:
"Nick Horne led the expedition that visited the 'U-boat pen'.
I recall he said that you could see how the U boat had been moved in this inlet, concealed by the Jungle. It sank some allied ships near Colon, before the US Navy got it. They had been put onto the secret base by the Indians at Cusapin, who alerted the US Embassy in Panama.
A team of US Marines went in and kept watch then radioed the Navy when they saw the U boat emerging one night. Due to the shallow water it could not dive until it got out to sea.
I hope this helps."
I understand that U 153 was active in this area and was in fact sunk off Colon. I also understand that the then President of Panama, Arnulfo Arias, was an overt fascist, and regarded by the Allies as pro-Axis.
Does anyone have any documentation or other information on this possible secret U-Boat base?
Roger, I apologize, but I just now went back through this thread and saw your post.

This is excellent information. I just looked Blashford-Snell up and he is quite the restless explorer: https://www.johnblashfordsnell.org.uk/ I note that this "u-boat pen" was on the Atlantic side and not the Pacific - Baja California side, but this is still very interesting. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 29 Oct 2018 19:49

Hi William Pellas,

Please note he does not write U-boat pen, but 'U-boat pen'.

If I recall, Arias was elected some time after the outbreak of war in 1939. He was deposed some months before Pearl Harbour, well before any U-boats, including U 153, reached the area. There was therefore almost no opportunity for the Germans to organize, build and supply a U-boat base in Panama in the brief time while he was in power. Furthermore, throughout this period the USA was building up its own strength in Panama and both the USNAF and USAAF were very active in the area, making it extremely difficult for the secret construction of a significant U-boat base to go completely undetected.

Arias was not demonstrably pro-Axis. He was proud of his Spanish ancestry and inclined towards Franco, wanting to see Spain rise again under his leadership. His thing was "Hispanidad". He was also a Panamanian nationalist resistant to the creeping anglicization of his small country by cultural overspill from the Canal Zone and immigration from the West Indies. Therefore, while he allowed the USA to build numerous new military bases outside the Canal Zone, he would not allow them long leases that threatened Panamanian national sovereignty.

It is also worth noting that during his time in power, the USA transferred many dozens of formerly US merchant ships to the Panamanian registry so that they could legally then be leased to the UK while the USA was still neutral. This was anything but "pro-Axis". However, in defence of Panamanian neutrality, he would not allow them to receive defensive armament.

It was his nationalism, his Franco leanings and his defence of Panamanian neutrality in the face of US demands for hemispheric solidarity that got him squeezed out of power on a legal technicality - he had gone on holiday abroad without asking his Congress for permission to leave the country.

The Panamanian "U-boat pen" story is implausible on every level.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by williamjpellas » 29 Oct 2018 23:55

Sid, thank you for the additional nuance and political - historical detail.

But I'm still going to look into Blashford-Snell's story and see what documentation there might be to support it.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 30 Oct 2018 18:35

Hi williamjpellas,

I would not discourage you from following it up, but I would encourage you to use due detachment and critical faculties in analyzing it.

There are some things that are reasonably plausible and worth following up. From my point of view, this isn't one of them. You may feel otherwise.

Happy hunting and keep us informed.

Cheers,

Sid

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by williamjpellas » 31 Oct 2018 04:44

Sid,

My guess is that this "u-boat pen" described by the British explorer was probably not much more than a hiding place. Maybe some fuel drums had been dropped off by "milch cow" supply submarines or what have you. But again, it's a lead and I'm going to follow up.

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Re: Secret U-Boat Bases in Mexico, Spain and Elsewhere?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 31 Oct 2018 18:18

Hi williamjpellas,

I don't think "milch cows" were used in that way. They tended to try to hide in the deep ocean to avoid detection.

Nor do I believe they carried oil drums.

The USA was worried that neutral Caribbean schooners might refuel U-boats and even arrested a British Honduran vessel when aerial reconnaissance showed an oil drum on the deck. However, such paranoia aside, there is absolutely no evidence that this was even considered, let alone actually occurred.

Cheers,

Sid.

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